England - Full Moon 147 - 09/15/08
Echoes From One To Another
I go through phases where I can think of nothing better than to lie in bed in the dark listening to music on headphones. The type of music I choose for these amniotic sessions is exploratory, soft-focus and gentle, sending me off into a reverie that most often results in a deep asleep populated by wonderful dreams.
Rudi Arapahoe's Echoes From One To Another would be the perfect album for these listening sessions if it weren't for the occasional spoken-word sections that burst the dreamlike bubble and drag the listener back to the reality of more direct and easily comprehensible communication. Without these voices I think I could lose myself in this album forever.
Rudi Arapahoe is credited with the concept and sound design of this album, creating the kind of immersive, atmospheric music that Dead Can Dance, Enigma or Enya would muster if they had any musical nous or lightness of touch. Arapahoe recruited artists to play harp, guitar, piano and vintage synthesizers and sing, while he handled field recordings and antique electronics. The results are spellbinding.
Although divided into tracks, the only song that really stands out to my ears is "Conversation Piece", which reminds me of a dozen other songs that I can't quite put my finger on. A bewitching female vocal snakes around the throb of a bass drum, while piano and guitar delicately weave simple, iridescent patterns. Stunning.
The rest of the album flows like a dream, with all the strange transformation and improbable narrative segues that implies. You don't seem to go anywhere but then you realise 50 minutes have passed; you feel like the album has covered a great deal of ground, then you realise that the same instruments are playing a similar motif to one hear only minutes before. This is a concept album in every sense. A total, immersive experience. I just wish those spoken-word sections weren't so intrusive...
Copyright © 2008 Tim Clarke